Heat wave raises Southern California fire risk, officials warn

State forest firefighters will be on alert for brush fires in coming days as temperatures rise and strong winds prevail in Southern California.

The Inland Empire already was experiencing high winds and rising temperatures early Wednesday, said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, commonly known as CalFire.

Winds were picking up Wednesday “to allow for the possibility of a mild Santa Ana event,” Berlant said. “This puts us back into the peak of fire season down in Southern California.”

After rain earlier this month, forecasts call for temperatures in the 90s Wednesday and Thursday, and in the high 80s and low 90s Friday.

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-- Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times

Photo: Los Angeles County Fire Assistant Chief Bill Niccum discusses proper wildfire prevention tactics near a home on Starlight Crest Drive on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Credit: Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer.


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